By: Nathaniel Philp
The Rider Jet Center in Hagerstown was the place to be today. That is, if you’re an old, white man. Today I had the pleasure of participating in the Anti-Trump rally outside of his event at the Hagerstown Regional Airport. It was one of the most intense experiences of my life so far. I made sure to make the poles on my signs extra tall, so that if Trump came to speak to me, he couldn’t reach my sign with his tiny, tiny hands. I keep reading stories of people who go to Trump rallies, and I always think “it can’t be that bad”. It IS that bad, trust me.
It started out this morning fairly calm. We got quite a few middle fingers, but that is to be expected. My entertainment was yelling at Terry Baker while he illegally placed some signs along the roadway, and heckling Robin Ficker (how do you get your law license suspended so many times?).
Things started to pick up about 2 hours before the event started. If I were a guessing man, I’d say about 90% of the population entering that event were old, white men wearing the signature “Make America Great Again” hats. What shocked me the most was the number of children who were at the event. I’m all for democracy, but I also believe in making an informed decision. Let’s be honest, kids…We all know your Dad made you wear that camo shirt and dragged you into the event, promising you how “cool” it would be.
The organizer wrapped things up around 3:30, but there were more protesters closer to the entrance of the hangar, so I joined them. This is when the death threats started. Once the event reached capacity, everyone was left to mingle in the roadway, which happened to be right where we were standing. I will sum up this experience with some of the top quotes:
“Your mom should have aborted you”
“You look like a queer”
“Were you tit fed, or bottle fed?” (wut?)
“If I see you outside of here, imma whip the shit outta you”
“I just hate Mexicans taking my job, how does that make me racist?”
“The wall will be free, Mexico is going to pay for it” (really, though?)
“I hope your girlfriend gets raped in a bathroom”
I witnessed one fist fight next to me after the bathroom rape comment. Eventually, the state police intervened and stood between the protesters and the fans. At that point, it just turned into what slightly resembled an epic rap battle.
Frank Howard was there to try and gain some voters (Trump supporters aren’t difficult to convince). Trump showed up 45 minutes late (Daaaamn Donald, back at it again with the late arrival!)
On a serious note: Some of the things that were said to me at this event were terrifying. So much so, that I was afraid to leave alone. I left with a socialist group from Baltimore (which was a lot for even me to handle), and I got out okay.
Trump chose the right place to come. His rhetoric has struck a chord with people, especially the type of people in Western MD. They’re slowly seeping out of the woodwork to come and support him. If this doesn’t terrify you, I don’t know what will.
For now, I’ll be sitting on my couch, feeling the burn (sunburn, that is), scrolling through the quite creative comments on the Herald-Mail article about me, and thinking about how embarrassed I am to be a resident of Washington County today.
*** Nathaniel Philp is a Hagerstown resident***